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‘Crystal Maze meets Challenge Anneka’ at Dr Knox’s Enigma

‘Crystal Maze meets Challenge Anneka’ at Dr Knox’s Enigma

A new escape game which puts puzzle-lovers against the clock has added an Edinburgh twist to the challenge.

Based just off the High Street in Warriston's Close, the 60-minute game uses the story of Dr Knox - the man who bought the bodies of Burke and Hare’s victims as dissection material for his anatomical lecturers – as the basis of the story around which a series of challenges are based.

Dr Knox’s Enigma was set up by Jonathan Cowie who wanted to add a more theatrical element to the popular 60 minute game format by incorporating one of the of the capital’s famous stories into the mix.

He first got the idea while living in London as a chartered accountant and, like the game, dreamed of escaping the big smoke to set up his own business.

  (© Dr Knox's Enigma)
via STV via STV

“I went along to a version of this game that's been kicking about London for a while and thought it was a great idea but they just weren't executing it particularly well," Jonathan said.

“The big thing which I thought was missing from the whole concept was the finish. Another thing I thought was missing from this genre was a really strong narrative.

“It should be much more than a puzzle game.”

via STV via STV

As soon as you walk off Warriston Close, you are transported into the backstage of a theatre. The game then begins when you step foot inside the study of Dr Knox.

Designed for up to six people, the puzzles range from physical search games to riddles and numeric code breakers.

  (© Dr Knox's Enigma)
via STV via STV

“Everything is tied up to the story,” he said.

“Taking a really famous story which is rooted in Edinburgh hopefully makes it a bit different.

“Primarily, it is about entertaining people and the focus is about getting a really good puzzle and good game for people to enjoy.

“Everything is self contained so you don’t need to know anything about the Burke and Hare story."

  (© Dr Knox's Enigma)
via STV via STV

Since opening, only around half of the groups have completed the challenge, with the fastest time to date being 56 minutes.

“You want it to be challenging so people who are really into puzzles can have a lot to do and enjoy it but you don't want it to be too cryptic and difficult,” Jonathan said.

“The best description I have heard so far on TripAdvisor is that is a bit like the Crystal Maze meets Challenge Anneka meets a pub quiz - I think that is a really cool description because if anyone understands any one of those, they are going to get it.”

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